Lagan Valley (UK Parliament constituency)

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For other constituencies of the same name, see Lagan (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 54°30′32″N 6°02′49″W / 54.509°N 6.047°W / 54.509; -6.047

Lagan Valley
County constituency
LaganValleyConstituency.svg
Lagan Valley shown within Northern Ireland
Created: 1983
MP: Jeffrey Donaldson
Party: Democratic Unionist
Type: House of Commons
Districts: Lisburn, Banbridge
EP constituency: Northern Ireland

Lagan Valley is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons.

Boundaries[edit]

1983-1997: The District of Lisburn; and the District of Castlereagh ward of Carryduff.

1997-2010: The District of Lisburn wards of Ballinderry, Ballymacbrennan, Ballymacash, Ballymacoss, Blaris, Derryaghy, Dromara, Drumbo, Dunmurry, Glenavy, Harmony Hill, Hilden, Hillhall, Hillsborough, Knockmore, Lagan Valley, Lambeg, Lisnagarvey, Maghaberry, Magheralave, Maze, Moira, Old Warren, Seymour Hill, Tonagh, and Wallace Park; and the District of Banbridge wards of Dromore North, Dromore South, Gransha, and Quilly.

2010-present: The City of Lisburn wards of Ballinderry, Ballymacash, Ballymacbrennan, Ballymacoss, Blaris, Dromara, Drumbo, Harmony Hill, Hilden, Hillhall, Hillsborough, Knockmore, Lagan Valley, Lambeg, Lisnagarvey, Maghaberry, Magheralave, Maze, Moira, Old Warren, Seymour Hill, Tonagh, Wallace Park, and part of Derryaghy; and the District of Banbridge wards of Dromore North, Dromore South, Gransha, and Quilly.

The seat was created in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from parts of South Antrim and North Down. In their original proposals, in January 1980, the boundary commission proposed calling it 'Lagan'. In further revisions in 1995 it lost some areas to both Belfast West and Strangford. Currently the constituency contains most of Lisburn district and part of Banbridge district.

Following their review of all parliamentary seats in Northern Ireland prior to the United Kingdom general election, 2010 the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland made alterations to Lagan Valley. In an unprecedented decision, passed by Parliament through the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Constituencies Order,[1] one electoral ward was split between two constituencies. This followed concerns in Derryaghy about being moved into the neighbouring West Belfast seat.

History[edit]

For the history of the equivalent constituencies prior to 1950 please see Antrim (UK Parliament constituency) and Down (UK Parliament constituency) and from 1950 until 1983, please see South Antrim (UK Parliament constituency) and North Down.

The constituency is overwhelmingly unionist and has traditionally had one of the highest votes for the Ulster Unionist Party in all of Northern Ireland, due in part to the personal popularity of James Molyneaux. Since his retirement in 1997 the seat has been represented by Jeffrey Donaldson who many initially saw as the rising star of the UUP. However Donaldson had a fractious relationship with the party which at times has been reflected in the election results. In the 1998 Assembly election he was controversially and publicly blocked from standing. In that election the UUP lost votes to many fringe unionist parties. In the 2001 general election the votes for the UUP, Democratic Unionist Party and Alliance Party of Northern Ireland all remained remarkably steady compared to significant shifts elsewhere in the province. Then in the 2003 Assembly election Donaldson was allowed to stand, despite at this point having resigned the UUP whip at Westminster. The UUP had their best result in the election, in part due to no candidate from either the UK Unionist Party or Northern Ireland Unionist Party defending one of the seats won in 1998. Donaldson's fractious relations with the UUP continued and the following month he, together with fellow assembly member Norah Beare, left the party and joined the Democratic Unionist Party. In the 2005 general election he held his seat for his new party.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The Member of Parliament since 1997 is Jeffrey Donaldson who was elected as a member of the Ulster Unionist Party but switched to the Democratic Unionist Party in 2004. He succeeded James Molyneaux who had represented the seat for the UUP since the 1983 general election and previously sat for the old South Antrim constituency which covered much of the same area.

Election Member[2] Party
1983 James Molyneaux Ulster Unionist
1997 Jeffrey Donaldson Ulster Unionist
2004 Democratic Unionist

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP Jeffrey Donaldson 18,199 49.8 −8.5
UCU-NF Daphne Trimble 7,713 21.1 −1.8
Alliance Trevor Lunn 4,174 11.4 +0.5
TUV Keith Harbinson 3,154 8.6 +8.6
SDLP Brian Heading 1,835 5.0 −1.1
Sinn Féin Paul Butler 1,465 4.0 −3.5
Majority 10,486 28.7
Turnout 36,540 56.0
DUP hold Swing −3.4

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP Jeffrey Donaldson 23,289 54.7 +41.3
UUP Basil McCrea 9,172 21.5 −35.0
Alliance Seamus Close 4,316 10.1 −6.5
Sinn Féin Paul Butler 3,197 7.5 +1.6
SDLP Patricia Lewsley 2,598 6.1 −1.4
Majority 14,117 33.2
Turnout 42,572 60.2 −3.0
DUP gain from UUP Swing +38.1
General Election 2001: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jeffrey Donaldson 25,966 56.5 +1.1
Alliance Seamus Close 7,624 16.6 −0.6
DUP Edwin Poots 6,164 13.4 −0.1
SDLP Patricia Lewsley 3,462 7.5 −0.2
Sinn Féin Paul Butler 2,725 5.9 +3.4
Majority 18,342 39.9
Turnout 45,941 63.2 +1.0
UUP hold Swing +0.9

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jeffrey Donaldson 24,560 55.4 −5.4
Alliance Seamus Close 7,635 17.2 +4.5
DUP Edwin Poots 6,005 13.6 N/A
SDLP Dolores Kelly 3,436 7.8 −1.7
Conservative Stuart E. Sexton 1,212 2.7 −6.3
Sinn Féin Sue Ramsey 1,110 2.5 +0.4
Workers' Party Mrs. Frances McCarthy 203 0.5 −0.7
Natural Law Hugh Finlay 149 0.3 N/A
Majority 16,925 38.2
Turnout 44,310 62.2
UUP hold Swing −5.0
General Election 1992: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jim Molyneaux 29,772 60.8 −9.2
Alliance Seamus Close 6,207 12.7 −1.1
SDLP Hugh Lewsley 4,626 9.5 +2.6
Conservative Timothy R. Coleridge 4,423 9.0 N/A
Sinn Féin Patrick J. Rice 3,346 6.8 +0.4
Workers' Party Mrs. Ann Marie Lowry 582 1.2 −1.7
Majority 23,565 48.1
Turnout 48,956 67.3
UUP hold Swing

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jim Molyneaux 29,101 70.0 +10.8
Alliance Seamus Close 5,728 13.8 +2.5
SDLP Billy McDonnell 2,888 6.9 +0.5
Sinn Féin Patrick J. Rice 2,656 6.4 +2.1
Workers' Party John Lowry 1,215 2.9 +0.9
Majority 23,373 56.2
Turnout 41,588 64.4
UUP hold Swing
Lagan Valley by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jim Molyneaux 32,514 90.7 +31.5
Workers' Party John Lowry 3,328 9.3 +7.3
Majority 29,186 81.4
Turnout 35,842 57.8
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1983: Lagan Valley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jim Molyneaux 24,017 59.2 N/A
DUP William Beattie 6,801 16.8 N/A
Alliance Seamus Close 4,593 11.3 N/A
SDLP Cormac J. Boomer 2,603 6.4 N/A
Sinn Féin Richard McAuley 1,751 4.3 N/A
Workers' Party Gerard Loughlin 809 2.0 N/A
Majority 17,216 42.4 N/A
Turnout 40,574 67.6 N/A
UUP win (new seat)

See also[edit]

References[edit]